Now that the 2011 NBA Championship has been decided and the Dallas Mavericks have sufficiently lived it up in South Beach, the oddsmakers have quickly put together preliminary odds for the 2012 NBA Championship, you know, assuming a lockout doesn't kill basketball in the meantime. It's not too surprising that the Miami Heat are sitting s early favorites at 5/2. They came within two victories of the title and it will be interesting what changes they make to take the next step, if any changes do happen.
The Bay Area comes in a little further south in the odds. The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings are both going off as 100/1 long shots. They join the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Washington Wizards as serious long shots. The only team with worse odds is the Toronto Raptors at 150/1.
I don't imagine many people will be throwing down much money on the Warriors or Kings, but the addition of Mark Jackson and a quality lottery pick could at least make the Warriors an interesting team in the West. They've got a long ways to go before they're a championship contender, or even a contender to any sort of serious damage in the playoffs. However, a couple smart moves could get them right in the thick of one of the final playoff spots. They finished ten games back and have a ton of question marks this offseason so I'm not ready to invest in playoff tickets quite yet. However, they re a team to watch in 2011-12.